How we use Cookies

Reds may swoop for Harrison

ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman hasn't ruled out a swoop for former Burnley player Gerry Harrison.

ACCRINGTON Stanley boss John Coleman hasn't ruled out a swoop for former Burnley player Gerry Harrison.

Coleman was interested in the Leigh RMI midfielder last season but nothing happened. However, Leigh have said 31-year-old Harrison is available at the right price - and Coleman may try again.

"He would have been a good acquisition last year but he had a few injuries which dented his progress. But you never lose interest," admitted the Reds boss.

"However, saying that, we do have so many high quality trialists wanting to come to Stanley that we don't really need to pay any money for players now. Once the season starts, though, it might be a different matter."

Coleman has had around 40 players training with him in the last two weeks - with at least 15 trying to impress.

The Reds chief will be running the rule over former Blackburn goalkeeper Michael Bingham, who came through the ranks at Ewood but joined Mansfield in June 2001, in Sunday's pre-season friendly at Radcliffe Borough FC (ko 2pm).

"Our priority is another keeper and we have Michael and the Iranian international having trials so we will have a look at them. I need to see the players in games. And I also would like to add another defender to the squad."

Former Rovers full-back Darren Hockenhull is having trials with a league club although Coleman is still interested in the youngster.

Meanwhile, Stanley striker Lutel James has signed a new two-year deal with the club. The striker was out of contract last season but the Reds were always confident he would put pen to paper on a new deal.

"It is good for the club as he is popular here, he is a fans' favourite and he is good for the team," said Stanley chairman Eric Whalley.

It is now full steam ahead for the Reds as they gear up for the challenge of competing in the Nationwide Conference. "Whether I was a manager in the North West Counties or the First Division, the aim is the same - to win the league," said Coleman.

"People might think this is a step too far for us this season and maybe it is but we have got to have that ambition. We don't just want to survive, that is not good enough.

"I know we are one of only eight part-time clubs in the division but you only have to look at how well Dagenham and Redbridge did last season to reach the play-offs and they are part-time. I am confident we will do well."

Stanley also have a friendly against Blackpool next Tuesday at the Interlink Express Stadium (ko 7.45pm). The prices for this game are £6 for adults, £4 for youths and OAPs and £2 for children under 12.

Meanwhile, Stanley have sold more than 300 season tickets ahead of their season in the Conference. "It is a record for the club - and we hope to sell more before the season starts," said the chairman.

  • THE Reds have appointed a new physio, Sean Riley from Rishton, who was at Lancaster City.
  • THE odds with Coral bookmakers on Accrington Stanley's Conference debut are: 33-1 to win the Nationwide Conference; 18-1 to win promo-tion and 4-1 to be relegated.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist